When James Charles posted his senior yearbook photos to Twitter back in 2016, he had no clue how much fame was about to come barreling his way (via Vulture). The snaps quickly made their way across the Internet as scores of users admired his evident makeup skills and on-point highlight. In five short years, Charles became CoverGirl’s first male model, sat opposite some of the most famous talk show hosts, and amassed 25.2 million YouTube followers and 36 million on TikTok. However, he’s also been the subject of a handful of controversies.
According to Vulture’s timeline, trouble first began brewing in 2017 when Charles posted racist tweets about the Ebola virus and Africa. Additional insensitive comments and feuds with several other celebrities were quick to follow. Then came the aptly named Dramageddon (followed by Dramageddon 2.0 and 3.0), which involved a very public brawl between Charles and fellow makeup gurus Manny MUA, Jeffree Star, Laura Lee, and Gabriel Zamora. However, the most severe allegations against the star came in 2021, when a 16-year-old boy made the shocking claim that Charles had groomed and pressured him. In the wake of these and additional controversies, Charles has seen a number of deals fall through. Perhaps the biggest financial hit came when YouTube demonetized the vlogger’s account in April of 2021. All the hullabaloo has made many fans wonder how Charles’ wealth has been affected — is he down and out or downright rich?
Despite all of his controversies, James Charles has millions in the bank
According to Wealthy Gorilla, James Charles has a net worth of around $22 million as of 2021. Gossip Cop reports that the 22-year-old’s YouTube channel makes the bulk of his wealth. In a matter of years, his popular makeup tutorials amassed more than a billion views. Considering vloggers typically make between $3 and $8 for every thousand views, that really adds up. Outside of the platform, he’s made money as a CoverGirl ambassador, Morphe Cosmetics partner, and clothing designer. He’s also joined forces with brands like Lilly Lashes and OFRA Cosmetics. But Charles’ multitudinous controversies caused many companies to sever their ties.
Those losses paired with the demonetization of his channel will almost assuredly affect Charles’ net worth. In a statement to Business Insider, YouTube said their decision came as a result of Charles going against the platform’s “creator responsibility policy.” They didn’t say whether or not the decision was permanent. Therefore, only time will tell how long Charles’ empire will stay standing.
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